Where to eat may seem like an innocent question. Ask your friends for recommendations, go on Yelp, or consult a local food journalist. While all these methods hold some potential, they are also fraught with difficulties. Your friends may steer you to things that are familiar or safe, and Yelp might warn you away from restaurants in "bad neighborhoods." Your local food journalist may skillfully describe the food and atmosphere, yet there is always more to it: someone grew the vegetables, chopped the meat, fired the food, and served it. Fresno Foodways is a research project and website developed by Fresno State anthropologists to shed light on the food work of Fresno-area immigrant, refugee, and diasporic people. We focus on the migration stories, hidden labor, and food cultures that lie behind the food itself. We examine why restaurants are located in certain neighborhoods and the Fresno history that helps shed light on those patterns. In telling these stories, we explicitly seek to portray people as indispensable members of our communities. This talk recounts the challenges and successes involved in engaging undergraduate anthropology students in Fresno Foodways, and offers insights on what we can hope to accomplish with such interventions.
Dr. Henry D. Delcore is a Professor of Anthropology at California State University, Fresno. His research experiences include work on rural development and environmental change in Thailand and social and cultural conditions among Southeast Asian Americans in Fresno. He has travelled professionally and conducted ethnographic research in the United States, Thailand, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia, and speaks Thai. His current research explores the intersection of digital technology, work, and education, with a focus on the offline factors that influence the use of mobile devices and the Internet. He is a past-President (2017-18) and current Chair (2018-21) of the Southwestern Anthropological Association, the regional professional association for anthropologists in the southwestern United States. Dr. Delcore has a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Fresno Foodways website: https://fresnofoodways.wordpress.com/
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